The Role Of Judge Danforth In The Crucible

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Judge Danforth held the highest position of authority. He was the only person who ultimately had the power to stop the craziness, but he chose not to; therefore, even though others were partially responsible, Danforth was most at fault. He liked being in power. In Act 3 he even bragged, “And did you know that four hundred are in jails… upon my signature?... And seventy-two condemned to hang by that signature?” (Miller 91). He knew he was in control when it came to who was going to jail and who was going to die, and it seemed like he was more proud of his power and more concerned with destruction than he was about justice. Since he was the judge, people trusted him to act on wisdom and intelligence, not superstition, which is in the end what …show more content…

Danforth was not doing his job as a responsible judge, looking at evidence as a judge should, and acting with fairness and justice. Because he was not being a pure and just judge he allowed many people to be jailed and hung for no substantial reason. When Hale spoke of judging a man on evidence, Danforth said “I judge nothing… I have seen marvels in this court. I have seen people choked before my eyes by spirits; I have seen them stuck by pins and slashed by daggers I have... not the slightest reason to suspect that the children may be deceiving me” (95). These lines are so shocking, because Danforth was supposed to judge based on evidence, and he admits to not doing his job by ‘judging nothing.’ He clearly admits to believing in the pretend, fantasy, or ‘marvels’ as he calls them which once again proves he was taking advantage of his power as judge. He had ultimate control over who was jailed and who would live or die. He didn’t act with wisdom, and when he didn’t, the town went crazy, innocent people were killed and the situation was complete …show more content…

Judge Danforth tried as hard as he could to get at the truth in some instances. One of the most intense scenes was when Danforth said “Look at me only, not at your husband. In my eyes only” (117) to Elizabeth, one of the women being accused of witchcraft. Elizabeth Proctor was in court and Danforth was asking her questions about her husband. Danforth was genuinely interested in the truth and came up with an intelligent way to get it. When Danforth asked Elizabeth the question about her husband cheating, he made Mr. Proctor turn away from his wife so she couldn’t read the look on her husband’s face or see any cues for what to say. So in that moment, he acted as a

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